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Market Research BLU-109

Solicitation Number: FA8213-13-BLU109
Agency: Department of the Air Force
Office: Air Force Materiel Command
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Sources Sought
Added: Dec 05, 2013 4:57 pm

Anomalous Penetrator Munition - Bomb Live Unit (BLU) - 109

Instrumentation and Sensor Development, Design, and Installation


Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Bombs Division, Hill AFB, UT is seeking information in support of market research to identify defense industry partners specializing in the qualification and operational testing of penetrator insensitive munitions, or from qualified vendors that show expertise, capability, and facility infrastructure to perform test and analysis as determined by the requirements in section IV below.  Twenty-two Bomb Live Unit (BLU-109) production articles contain anomalies in the solid metal casing of the nose region.  Each anomaly was identified by Ellwood National Forge, the manufacturer of the BLU-109 bomb casing, using Non-Destructive inspection methods.  It is estimated, using the sample size of twenty-two BLU-109's collected, that approximately 2.5% of the current USAF inventory of BLU-109 penetrator munitions contain anomalies in the nose section.  It is unknown if these anomalies negatively affect lethality, performance, or alter the Operational Suitability and Effectiveness of the weapon system.  The testing requirements in section IV below must be performed in order to determine if any variance exists from a known baseline performance. 

Given the information above, the government is seeking qualified sources to install instrumentation in one inert test article using a government supplied anomalous-bomb casing and inert filler (Filler-E).  The completed test article will be fitted with an array of internal instrumentation and sensors that can withstand an impact at a sled test track and maintain integrity of all acquired data.  The data will then be analyzed and used to build a qualitative conclusion of whether or not an anomalous nose section affects the performance criteria upon impact.  Any information submitted by respondents to this RFI is strictly voluntary.  This RFI does not constitute a Request for Proposal (RFP) or an Invitation for Bid (IFB), nor does its issuance restrict the Government as to its ultimate acquisition approach.  There is no solicitation available at this time.  Requests for a solicitation will not receive a response.  The Government will neither award a contract solely on the basis of this notice, nor pay for any information that is submitted by respondents to this RFI.   

 II. BACKGROUND:  The BLU-109 has been in service and in Air Force inventory since 1985.  As with other "bunker busters", it is intended to penetrate concrete structures or "bunkers" before exploding.  A live BLU-109 has a delayed-action tail-fuze that ignites an explosive charge after the munition penetrates a hardened structure, such as concrete, of varied degrees of thickness. 

III. SCOPE:  The desired test article will provide invaluable information and insight to how anomalies affect performance of the penetrator bombs.  Test requirements specified in the TRD will be performed to meet a milestone date of completion no later than 28 April 2014.  The completed test article will be shipped to the test track facility at Holloman AFB, New Mexico two weeks prior a sled test date of 14 March 2014.  The scope of this project will include project planning, a comprehensive instrumentation, sensor, and gauging solution implementation plan, equipment procurement, Other Direct Costs (ODC) installation, installation, pre-test and post-test support and task documentation.  Pre-test support will involve travel to the location where the test article will be filled with Filler-E.

This RFI is directed to highly competitive potential prime contractors who have demonstrated experience in the design, integration, installation, and test of instrumentation, sensors, and gauging of insensitive munitions such as the BLU-109.  The Government recognizes that it, and Industry, has limited resources; therefore, to conserve those resources, at this point in the process, the Government desires to continue dialogue with those Industry partners who feel they could be a viable prime contractor.

 The Government will use the information gathered in response to this RFI to refine the strategy for the acquisition to complete the USAF testing and assess impact to 2.5% of penetrator munition inventory and will help the Government structure a program that will mitigate cost, schedule, and performance risks.  It should also help interested contractors make more informed decisions as to their probability of success and determine whether or not they should proceed.

IV. DATA SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: The Government requests potential contractors address their solution as it relates to the areas identified below and the system operational guidelines listed in the TRD (See Tab 1).  Inputs on the feasibility of meeting these guidelines are solicited, along with risks to implementation/integration/installation.  The Government requests potential contractors provide complete, total solution responses utilizing the following specific details of the instrumentation and data acquisition requirements.  An engineering drawing is available upon request. 


The strain response of the case shall be recorded during the penetration event or as much as possible during the penetration event.  This may be done by strain gages and/or fiber-optic technology.  Strain gages should be installed on the inner surface of the nose region next to the crack location.  Sampling rate shall be sufficient to accurately record the maximum strain response near the cracked region during the entire penetration event and capture or "tumbling" events.  Recommended sampling rate is 16,000 samples-per-second and at a minimum.  Instrumentation response shall be recorded as for the duration of the test (up to 15 minutes).

 Accelerometers will be placed within the Filler E fill to monitor its motion during the impact and penetration events.  These gages should be placed as close to the nose region as possible to track motion in or near the nose region of the BLU-109.  Additional accelerometers shall be placed onto the case wall in the same region to determine relative motion between the case and the Filler-E bomb fill. 


The case may be instrumented to provide strain response of the case both forward and aft of the anomaly location.  Relative motion of the inert fill will also be monitored during the penetration event by use of accelerometers within the Filler-E and on the case wall. 


Data acquisition:   

Unless otherwise noted, the instrumentation data-acquisition rate will be a minimum of 16,000 samples-per-second.  The data acquisition system should accurately record the case strain response prior to, during, and after the penetration event.  It should also accurately record the accelerometer response of the case and Filler-E, before, during, and after the penetration event.

 Data reliability and integrity:  

Care must be taken to ensure acquired data is properly stored and subsequently downloaded following the sled test.  Any data channels not properly functioning prior to test and what was done to fix those channels shall be documented in the "Instrumentation" final test report.  Data channels found to not be functioning after the test and proposed reasons why they didn't properly function shall be documented in the final test report.  Instrumentation final test report shall be provided to the government in a timely manner (i.e. no more than 45 days after the sled-test date).

 Data integrity:   

Data should be provided to Government in both raw and filtered formats in either a comma-delimited flat file (such as .csv or .txt files) or in an Excel spreadsheet file.  In addition the filtered data shall be charted to evaluate the effectiveness of the instrumentation and corresponding physical responses of the warhead to the penetration event.  These charted data along with an overall evaluation of the data shall be documented in a final "Instrumentation" test report provided to the Government.

Physical Security: An inert BLU-109 is Unclassified.  Some portions of this testing activity may be considered classified, therefore standard industry security practices should be exercised.  Participants who will provide on-site support at the test track may need to have a security clearance. 

 V. SUBMITTAL:  The Government requests responses to this RFI be delivered to the Government no later than 07 Jan 2014.  Respondents should identify their company's name, address, telephone number, and point of contact on packaging and title pages.  The company name should appear clearly on every page of your submittal and proprietary information must also be clearly marked.  Please limit responses to 5 pages or less. The font should be Times New Roman and no smaller than 10 point font. The Government requests responses include one (1) compact disk (CD). The CD file should be in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) or otherwise compatible with the Microsoft Office 2010 suite of software.  All copies should be delivered simultaneously to the address listed below.

Provide the following details when submitting a response:

•-        Feasibility and confidence; provided solidified instrumentation build plan, detailed List of Materials; to accomplish this project via firm-fixed price delivery order(s).

•-        Proposed delivery schedule(s) should be provided in Microsoft Project and should consider the time necessary to produce a test article before the primary sled test date 14 March 2014.

•-        Please provide a summary White Paper of your solution highlighting key and salient points.

•-        Provide a Rough Order of Magnitude cost estimate that captures total cost of effort.  Provide this figure in a separate document or as a separate bullet in the White Paper.

The Government will review Industry responses in detail.  If the Government would like to discuss your response to this RFI they will contact you for additional information.  Any questions or comments should be submitted to the Government using the Comment Matrix provided on the FedBizOps.    

Shipping Address: 


Bombs Division

6033 Elm Lane

Bldg 1246

                              (Attn: Capt. Patrik Rowland)


Please refer any questions regarding this RFI to a Word documents or Excel spreadsheet.  Return  to Capt Patrik Rowland via email at (  Questions will only be viewed by the government.  The information received will not obligate the Government in any manner nor will the Government reimburse contractors for any costs associated with submittal of this request for information.  This RFI does not constitute an Invitation for Bid or a Request for Proposal, nor should it be considered as a commitment on the part of the Government.



In order to obtain a copy of the engineering drawing please fill out the following form:




Any information obtained from the engineering drawing will be used for the sole purpose of:


Assisting_________________________________, (hereafter referred to as the contractor), in

Company Name

the technical evaluation and response to the Government's RFI for  Anomalous Penetrator Munition - Bomb Live Unit (BLU) - 109,   Instrumentation and Sensor Development, Design, and Build


The contractor is responsible for assuring that the information received will not be used for any purpose(s) other than stated above and that the information shall be destroyed by the contractor when work is completed.


The contractor guarantees that the provided information, and/or any modified version thereof, will not be published in any manner or offered for sale.  It will not be sold or given to any other firm without prior written approval from the AFLCMC/EBH program office.  It will be considered and treated as For Official Use Only material.


The contractor understands that the information is intended for domestic use only.  It will not be made available to foreign governments nor used in any contract with a foreign government.


All engineering drawing requests should be made via a scanned copy of this form emailed to Capt Patrik Rowland at: ( stating the request to receive the engineering drawing.


An electronic copy of the drawing will be emailed to the individual at the address that is entered below:


I ________________________________________, as a representative of the

                                        Name of Individual & Title/Position

company listed below, understand and agree to the above-mentioned rules.




Individual Email Address & Phone Number



Company Name



            Company CAGE Code



Individual Signature & Date

Hill AFB, Utah 84056
United States
To Be Determined

United States
Eileen Wahlstrom
Phone: 8015862917
Capt. Patrik Rowland,
Program Manager
Phone: 810-586-4859